In Witchcraft (and I'm beginning to think of this more in terms of Wicca as well) divinity is seen as dual, and from that duality comes countless expressions of the Divine personified by the goddesses and gods throughout culture. These goddesses and gods are expressions of the raw and primal energies and powers of the universe, the building blocks of creation, which in turn are seen as coming from the Source, which is beyond concepts of good and evil, light and dark, beginning and end. It is timeless, eternal, and the spark within all the goddesses and gods personified. Though the Source is seen as genderless, I find myself facing conflicts, both internal and external, when the issue of gender-specific titles and roles as it relates to the Source occur within Paganism via literature, thoughts, and opinions. My belief is that this merely boils down to a difference in the human experience from one individual to another and how those individuals view the Divine.
In coming from a strictly monotheistic and Seventh-day Adventist upbrining, it has always been easier to substitute the image and the omnicient presence of the Judeo-Christian Father-God with 'the Source' as being a singular expression of deity, perhaps, even still a monotheistic view, which would inevitably still fall within the traditional 'Father-God' roles and archetypal imagery. Confronting traditional models of fear, and going beyond 'God, the Father' to embracing both the masculine and feminine energies and powers of the universe as being not only being aspects of myself, but also embodied in all manifestations of Nature, I began to view the Goddess as well as the God as Divine, because indeed, this was natural. This was in accordance with everything I knew about the creation of life; a Mother, a Father, a Sacred King and Queen. It went beyond logical thinking or common sense and sensibility: this Law, this Principle, the expression of Divininty as dual was Divine because I was Divine because I was a product of this, both through my earthly parents and the Cosmic Pair. All was truly well; until the decision as to allot the greater power to 'had' to be made.
Hold up. I came to Wicca because I was trying to escape this power struggle, but it's here as well! In coming to Wicca, I was attempting to create harmony and balance in my life, but from what it seemed like, there was still the power struggle between this group over here only worshipping the Horned God of the Sun to renew the passionate, untamed, erotic, yet loving power in life not embodied in the Abrahamic 'God, the Father', this group over here only worshipping the Moon Triple Goddess to renew the feminine as sacred and to heal centuries of persecution and Witch hunts, this group over here who honoured them both and felt as if they both should recieve equal importance, this group who worshipped them both, but felt as if the Goddess should recieve more adoration and was more powerful than the God, who was simply some wild son/Sun running through the woods and eager to have sex with his mother, simply necessary for the perpetuation of Life, this group who honoured both, yet gave greater adoration to the God, who was seen as doing all the work while the Mother is the proverbial cosmic housewife waiting to be impregnated, and then you have THIS group who honours neither of them, but only the Great Spirit, the Source, whom like I mentioned earlier, either fits conveniently into the constructs of 'God, the Father' or is too vague a concept to explain beyond 'the Great Spirit is everything'.
I was thoroughly flustered by the overwhelmingly vast ammount of options and opinions to choose from. It seemed to be a deja vu experience of my past as a Christian, where, 'We, the Seventh-day Adventists, are the remnant church, the peculiar priesthood of God; the true Christians, while the Baptists, the Pentecostals, the Anglicans, Catholics, Methodists, and Mormons are wrong, firstly, because they worship on the wrong day'. So reverting to a familiar system of thought, I began the sole worship/communion with the Goddess. I sung her songs, I invoked her power when casting spells, I prayed soley to She, the Creatrix of the Universe, but it wasn't long before I realized that this too was a form of slavery, persecution, and a direct denial of who I was as a man. In allot of Wiccan literature written by women, I heard centuries of anger concealed by 'love and light for all beings', toxic and volatile hate swept under the 'Harm None' carpet, and a silent river of revenge that ebbed and flowed throughout each page. Men were somehow made the afterthought, and these authors, through trying to make women feel stronger, made me feel inferior, and I was simply to nod my head and keep reading these works by these authors who failingly attempted to pacify men at some point from their stinging insults while I attempted to pacify a Goddess sour after a millenium of disregard by my gender. This wasn't right. This wasn't the Wicca I was called to; but who was I kidding? The Call to Wicca was afterall the 'Call of the Goddess', and not the 'Call of the God', and if she so happened to call to me, and I just so happened to listen, then I obviously had signed up for some latter-mentioned penance and retribution to undo the wrong of my gender. Right?
Wrong. The Wicca I was drawn to was a spiritual path of affirmation. It was affirmation of not only the Moon and the ocean as being Divine, but it was also an affirmation of both myself and every part of myself as being divine, including the phallus between my legs which was a physical representation of the masculine energy that I embodied, which - though embodying elements of the sacred feminine in the same manner as she embodied elements of the sacred masculine - was not prepared to compromise its inherent divinity to become the female or to honour her to its exclusion. I was male. I was Yang. And I was very much apart of the creation process as was she, who is the Queen of All the Wise. I had realized that what 'God, the Father' had become for women, 'Goddess, the Mother' was becoming for me: a stifling mode of expression, through which only one virtue of life was honoured, seperating me from my birthright. Once again, I had fallen into the monotheistic trap, dumbing down the diversity of existence in all its manifestations to 'she'. So putting away 'the Goddess material' until I could consider the God within me as her equal, I began my magical journey inward to the Source.(To be continued...)
Mychal Bryan is a Bahamian Pagan in Jamaica pursuing both higher education and higher awareness. He's an 18 year old Reiki Teaching-Practitioner and Diviner, and has been reading Runes and Tarot cards from he could say 'Goddess'.
Also by Mychal: The Mists of Avalon: Reviewed and Analyzed